by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

December 24, 2009

Old Flames at NASA on TV

My fine old friend Tom Lawrence sent me this still from a TV documentary where a computer at JPL is on-screen and you can see the old flame screensaver running. This isn't the Electric Sheep, but the old version the one that got included as part of xscreensaver and hence a standard part of linux for many years. It ran like an ordinary screensaver, not using distributed computation or Darwinian evolution, and it wasn't really animated (it just accumlated a bunch of random flames over time). So the quality was way lower than the Electric Sheep, but it did have the idea of iterated nonlinear functions, which the sheep still use. Jwz has the date as 1993 and that's probably when it went into xscreensaver, but that version was based on previous ones that ran on Sun workstations and wrote directly into the framebuffer. This code goes back to around 1988 when I was working in the graphics group at Brown University, which is when Tom and I met. Posted by spot at December 24, 2009 08:29 AM
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